British Heart Foundation – Your weight and heart disease

British Heart Foundation – Your weight and heart disease

My name’s Laura Hodgkinson, I’m 26, and I’m an outreach worker
from Atherton, Lancashire. When I was at school,
I did lots of afterschool clubs, and always did dancing
from an early age, and swimming twice a week, as well. Once I passed my driving test, I wanted to drive everywhere. I never wanted to walk. And I never was walking. I was jumping into the car
and nipping to the shop, even if it was
just around the corner. That’s when I started
piling on the weight. I started dancing when I was two,
and did it twice a week from then on. I gave it up,
because I was just too big. I didn’t want anybody looking at me, because of my size. Not keeping any exercise up, it was probably the worst decision
I could ever make. When I met Grant five years ago, I probably was about a size 16. I suppose you comfort eat
because we were happy, and we wanted to spend nights in, where we got takeaways
and had a few beers. We do need to book our holiday. – Where do we fancy going?
– Where do you want to go? What’s here? Eventually,
my weight went up to 17st 2lbs. Being the size I was, I didn’t realise how much
I was putting my life in danger, from heart attacks to strokes. It was Grant’s 30th birthday, and I saw a photograph, and I thought,
“It’s about time I did something,” because I didn’t like
what I was seeing. I just want to look good
and feel good. When I started dieting, I felt that small targets
were the best. It wasn’t immediate change. I needed to get my head
round the healthier options, rather than the option
that I used to have, which was quite unhealthy. I think it’s the way of life now. Grant’s the chef. – Strips or chunks?
– Strips. He really enjoys cooking,
which is a plus for me, because he knows what the healthy
options for us to eat are, and the variety of things
that we can eat, as well. Are they all right? For dinner I used to have things like takeaways or processed food, but now we cook everything
from scratch. We also use
a lot of fresh vegetables, and use them all in different ways. We still do curries and chillies, and chicken with veg
and Sunday dinners, but it’s all done the healthy way, using FryLight instead of oils. I used to have biscuits
with my brews mid-morning, and sometimes mid-afternoon,
we would have a biscuit, as well. I changed my snacking habits
to fruit. I do tend to like raspberries
and strawberries and blackberries. Something easy, and something
that I can pick at at my desk. I’m an outreach worker, and I help families
to access local services. When I was meeting families
at their homes, I would jump in the car, and drive there and drive back, even if it was only
a couple of minutes away. – Hello.
– Hello, Gemma. You all right? But now I always try and make sure that I give myself enough time to walk to the homes. I was doing exercise,
and didn’t realise I was doing it. The good thing is
I’m not coming home from work and on the sofa. I’m going out and doing things. When I finished work, I started going for probably an hour’s walk
at my speed, and then after
when I felt like I was fitter, I decided to use the local gym, the outdoor gym that we have. I carry on doing it,
because I’m enjoying it. I was 17st 2lbs, and now I’m 12 stone, and I feel absolutely brilliant. I feel on top of the world,
and can’t wait to lose a bit more. I realised
that I should start dancing again. I started off, and I could only dance
between one and two minutes, but as the weeks go on, I’m doing the full dance. And it’s such a good feeling knowing
that I can do that twice a week, and probably I’ve not done that
for a good six or seven years. It makes me feel great,
really happy about it, and I’m doing something again
that I do love doing. I was a dead man walking. The time has come
for me to take action. I was 17st 2lb, and now I’m 12 stone, and I feel absolutely brilliant. Now I actually feel excited
for the future. You’re told that you have a disease that’s going to be with you
for the rest of your life. It was an absolute shock. I love my life now. There’s a future,
and I’m going to live it.


  1. great video. my birth dad died 2 years ago of a heart attack at 50 years old. ive told my doctors this and they told me it means i have heart disease in the family. so im told to lose weight and exercise. i also work in british heart foundation charity shop to help raise money for people who have heart disease in the family. 

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